Skip to content

Posts from the "David Chiu" Category

8 Comments

Bicyclist, Supes Prez David Chiu Announces Bid for San Francisco Mayor

David Chiu surrounded by supporters on the steps of City Hall. Some were waving "Bicyclists for David Chiu" signs. Photo: Bryan Goebel.

David Chiu, the car-free President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, declared his candidacy for mayor on the steps of City Hall this morning, promising to make sustainable transportation one of the cornerstones of his campaign.

“We’re the city that invented the cable car, but while we call ourselves a Transit-First city, we are sick of gridlock, we are sick of potholes and we’re sick of Muni,” Chiu told a crowd of more than 100 supporters. “As your candidate for mayor who doesn’t own a car, who gets to City Hall either on the number 49 or on my bicycle, I think we can do better.”

Chiu’s entry into the mayor’s race is expected to substantially raise the profile of sustainable transportation. Although many of the other major candidates have transportation listed as an issue of importance on their websites, Chiu is the only candidate (that we know of) who doesn’t own a car and gets around mostly on his electric bicycle.

Cheryl Brinkman, a transit advocate who sits on the SFMTA Board of Directors, gave a rousing endorsement for Chiu at today’s campaign kick-off, along with Supervisor Eric Mar.

Read more…

14 Comments

David Chiu: Bike Network Expansion Is Transportation Priority #1

Board of Supervisors and Acting Mayor David Chiu took a bike ride to City Hall with some advocates this morning. On right is SFBC Executive Director Leah Shahum, back from her sabbatical in Amsterdam. Photo: Bryan Goebel

Board of Supervisors Prez and Acting Mayor David Chiu took a bike ride to City Hall with some advocates this morning. On right is SFBC Executive Director Leah Shahum, back from her sabbatical in Amsterdam. Photo: Bryan Goebel

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, who for the past 24 hours has served as Acting Mayor of San Francisco, said expanding the city’s bike network will be his number one transportation priority in the coming year, along with pedestrian safety and improving Muni’s reliability and performance.

“First and foremost, as someone who bikes every day, is ensuring that we’re expanding our bike network, starting with Market Street, but through all of the major thoroughfares in San Francisco, creating what I think of as bike thoroughfares that we can use to easily get folks around the city,” said Chiu, standing outside It’s a Grind coffee house on Polk Street, where he led a ride to City Hall with bicycle advocates this morning.

Leah Shahum, the executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, was among those taking part in the ride and said as a bicyclist Chiu understands the importance of physically-separated green bike lanes, like the ones on Market Street.

“It is going to be an important year for San Francisco to build on its recent successes for better bicycling,” said Shahum. “City Hall leaders have the opportunity to make the city easier to move around with relatively low-cost, quick improvements, such as more physically separated bikeways on key routes like Market Street and Fell Street along the popular Wiggle route.”

Read more…

7 Comments

San Francisco Will Be Governed by a Car-Free Mayor for Next 24 Hours

Photo: Bryan Goebel

David Chiu trying out an electric bike around City Hall last year. Photo: Bryan Goebel

If you see a guy in a suit pedaling up Polk Street or around City Hall in the next 24 hours on an electric bike, just know that it might be your mayor. Today at 1 p.m., as Gavin Newsom was finally sworn in as lieutenant governor, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu became the acting mayor and will remain so until City Administrator Ed Lee is confirmed as interim mayor tomorrow.

We don’t expect Acting Mayor Chiu to order green protected bike lanes throughout the city but it is cool that — at least for the next day — our mayor is setting an example and not traveling around in an SUV. Chiu is considering a run for mayor.

Update: Chiu’s aide, Judson True, says he will be leading a bike ride to City Hall tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. The ride will begin at It’s a Grind coffee house on Polk Street and Washington. The public is invited.

7 Comments

Car-Free District 3 Supervisor David Chiu Reelected Board President

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu. Photo: Luke Thomas, ##http://www.fogcityjournal.com/wordpress/##Fog City Journal##

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu at today's meeting. Photo: Luke Thomas, Fog City Journal

Supervisor David Chiu, a key player in the city’s sustainable transportation movement who gets around on his electric bicycle, was reelected president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors this afternoon on an 8-3 vote.  The 40-year-old District 3 supervisor called on his colleagues to “move beyond the past oppositional politics of personality” and build consensus to tackle some of the city’s most pressing problems.

“None of us were voted into office to take positions. We were voted into office to get things done. We were voted into office to create jobs, to make sure Muni runs on time, to make sure our streets are safe and clean and to make sure…that the least fortunate among us is taken care of,” said Chiu, referring to past positions supervisors have taken against the Mayor or other supervisors.

The vote to reelect Chiu came after four new members elected to the board — Jane Kim, Malia Cohen, Scott Wiener and Mark Farrell — were sworn into office along with Supervisor Carmen Chu, who ran unopposed for her District 4 seat.

In the first round of voting for president, Chiu, who was nominated by Kim, and Supervisor Sean Elsbernd (nominated by Chu) both got four votes each with Supervisor John Avalos (nominated by Supervisor David Campos) garnering three. All three supervisors were allowed to vote for themselves.

After the initial vote, Elsbernd stood up and noted how multiple rounds of voting can result in long-term elements of discord and distrust, and decided to withdraw his name “in the spirit of moving this meeting forward.” On the second round, Chiu’s nomination got the support of every new member, along with Supervisors Eric Mar, Chu and Elsbernd. Avalos was supported by Campos and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.

Chiu is widely rumored to be exploring a run for mayor. Just yesterday, it was publicly unclear whether he had enough votes to remain board president. Earlier this week, he was blasted by now former Supervisor Chris Daly, who pledged to “politically haunt” the former prosecutor and civil rights attorney after he announced his support of City Administrator Ed Lee for interim mayor with the eventual backing of six other supervisors.

Read more…

25 Comments

Advocates: CityPlace EIR Highlights Need for Level of Service Reform

What the view of CityPlace from Mason Street would look like. Image: Market Street Holdings LLC

What the view of CityPlace would look like from Mason Street. Image: Market Street Holdings LLC

At the heart of the San Francisco Planning Department’s 328-page Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for CityPlace, sustainable transportation advocates have pinpointed one glaring flaw. In assessing the impacts of new off-street retail parking, the environmental analysis [pdf] concludes that building a 167-space garage will have the same effect on traffic as building no garage at all.

“This environmental analysis has really pitted this project against pedestrian safety and the livability of this neighborhood,” said Tom Radulovich, the executive director of Livable City.

CityPlace is a 250,000 square foot retail project planned for Market Street that the Mayor has trumpeted as essential for the area, “a key pillar in the continuing revitalization of Mid-Market that will bring hundreds of jobs and new revenues to boost our City’s economy and thousands of new pedestrians and shoppers to activate one of the most blighted blocks of Market Street.”

Radulovich along with attorney Arthur Levy and Walk SF had filed an appeal of the Planning Commission’s certification of the DEIR, arguing that it failed to adequately address and mitigate the dangers to pedestrians and bicyclists. Levy was also concerned the St. Francis Theater, designed by architect John Galen Howard, will be demolished and that the glass structure won’t fit in with the visual and historic character of Market Street.

Supporting the appeal seemed politically impossible for the Board of Supervisors. Instead, Supervisor Chris Daly, who represents the area, with help from Judson True, an aide to Supervisor David Chiu, brokered a deal [pdf] before the supervisors meeting Tuesday.  Market Street Holdings LLC (Urban Realty), the project’s sponsor, agreed to charge a 20 cent per vehicle exit fee at the CityPlace garage that would eventually add up to $1.8 million for “bicycle and/or pedestrian and/or transit improvements.” That pleased the supervisors and the DEIR was certified on a 9-0 vote, giving the final clearance.

The rejection of the appeal followed a public hearing in which the advocates laid out their case, and the project’s sponsors were allowed a rebuttal.

Read more…

8 Comments

Supes Muni Reform Measure Nixed as Chiu Strikes Deal with Mayor

IMG_1339.jpgPhoto: Myleen Hollero/Orange Photography
Fearing a potential defeat by voters on a crowded November ballot, and saying he wants to see faster reform at the SFMTA, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu announced a compromise with Mayor Gavin Newsom late Tuesday night before casting the swing vote against a Muni charter amendment he had originally co-sponsored with three of his colleagues.

"From my perspective, we need to move immediately with MTA reform. I do not want to wait until November," Chiu said, before yanking his name as a co-sponsor. "Given that we've been accused of an alleged power grab here, which I don't necessarily agree with, I do think it's important that we give voters many reasons to support all of the measures that we're placing on the ballot, particularly revenue measures."

The "reform framework" (PDF) announced by Chiu, which was followed just minutes later with a joint press release from the Mayor's Office, has four components. First, it orders the SFMTA to come up with a plan by December 1 for restoring the remaining 5 percent service cut that will still be in effect. Last month, the SFMTA Board voted to restore half of the 10 percent service cut it implemented in May on September 4th.

Chiu said a working group would be assembled to figure out the funding and hopes that voters favor the November revenue measures "so we can use a portion of that to assist with Muni service restoration."

The deal also calls for the establishment of a Transportation Governance Task Force to look at the "strengths and weaknesses" of the current SFMTA structure, including board appointments, in addition to more oversight of work orders and an enhanced SFMTA auditing system that would include the appointment of a new Director of Audit Compliance.

"I am pleased that we were able to come to a consensus about how we can work together now to improve Muni without having to wait until next year," Mayor Newsom said in a statement. "These reforms will let us immediately begin the hard work of fully restoring Muni service and improving transparency and accountability at the SFMTA."

Read more...
12 Comments

Better Streets Plan Provisions Stripped from Chiu Garage Legislation

IMG_3842.jpg Revised legislation could slow down Ellis Act evictions in Chinatown, North Beach, and Telegraph Hill, but would not require garages to meet the design principles in the Better Streets Plan. Photo: Michael Rhodes

In a move to gain the support of Supervisor Bevan Dufty, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu has stripped language from his proposed garage legislation that would have ensured all new garage additions to existing buildings in Chinatown, North Beach and Telegraph Hill conform with Better Streets Plan (BSP) guidelines.

The original legislation, which Chiu sponsored, would have required garage additions in sections of those neighborhoods to receive a conditional use authorization from the Planning Commission. Garages would be blocked if they had been built following no-fault evictions or didn't meet the design guidelines in the BSP.

At Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, Chiu announced that the BSP provision would be removed, and only buildings with four units or more would need to go through a full discretionary review process at Planning -- significantly lowering the bar for adding new garages compared to the original proposal.

Chiu said the revised legislation would return to the Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee for a public hearing on Monday. The revised legislation, he said, "would really help to protect the core purpose of why we're moving this legislation," while dealing with the concerns raised by Dufty and others.

That's still an important victory for protecting housing, said Livable City's Tom Radulovich, but a setback in terms of ensuring better conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders.

Read more...
9 Comments

Supervisors Delay Final Vote on Garage Legislation for Another Week

IMG_3807.jpgSupervisor David Chiu has sponsored a measure to ban garages built following no-fault tenant evictions in parts of the Northeast corner of San Francisco. Photo: Michael Rhodes

For a second time in two weeks, the Board of Supervisors today delayed a final vote on legislation that would impose stricter rules on the construction of new garages in Chinatown, North Beach and Telegraph Hill. Unlike the first delay, however, the Board voted to make a small amendment to the measure today, passing the amended bill on first reading. It will be back next week for a final vote.

The amendment today fixed an initial error in the drafting of the legislation, said its sponsor, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu. The portion of Broadway included in the measure would stretch from the Embarcadero to Mason Street, not all the way to Polk Street, as the initial legislation had it.

After initially approving the legislation on first reading by a 7-2 vote on February 9, the supervisors voted on February 23 to continue the measure until today. Supervisor Bevan Dufty, whose vote would be crucial to override a potential veto from the Mayor, has asked for more time to talk to people on both sides of the debate before taking a final vote.

Garage addition companies, landlords and condo conversion supporters are reportedly pressuring Dufty to vote down the measure, while affordable housing, transit, pedestrian and bicycle advocates are rallying behind the garage legislation.

You can contact Supervisor Dufty about the legislation by emailing him at bevan.dufty@sfgov.org or by calling his office at 415-554-5184.
5 Comments

Two MTA Board Appointments to Come at Pivotal Time for Muni

3489709659_ae7923e265_b.jpgFrom left: MTA Board Vice Chairman Rev. Dr. James McCray, Jr., Chairman Tom Nolan and Director Shirley Breyer Black. Photo: Michael Rhodes
On March 1, the terms of the MTA Board's two longest-serving directors will end, and a convergence of factors could make their reappointment or replacement more closely scrutinized than any in the agency's ten-year history. Adding to the uncertainty, one or both of the directors - Shirley Breyer Black and Rev. Dr. James McCray, Jr. - may actually be termed out of their seats, depending on how the City Attorney's office interprets the City Charter.

With the MTA facing massive budget shortfalls in the coming years on top of a mid-year budget crisis, a progressive majority controlling the Board of Supervisors, and a Mayor in his final two years in office, transit advocates and many supervisors are looking for appointees who will be independent-minded and engaged members of the MTA Board.

"In general, I think that the MTA commission has not been examining all options available to the MTA in the context of our budget crisis," said Board of Supervisors President David Chiu. "I think it's fair to say a majority of the Board of Supervisors believes we need commissioners who are independent enough to consider all options on the table."

For her part, Black is happy to continue serving, but hasn't heard what the Mayor is planning. "No one has told me anything," she said last week.

That may in part be because the Mayor is waiting to hear from the City Attorney's office on whether Black and McCray are eligible to serve additional terms. Proposition E, which created the MTA in 1999, set director term limits at three, but it's not clear whether Black and McCray's first terms counted, since both were shorter than the regular four years. Black was a member of the original MTA Board, which had staggered term lengths. Her first term, beginning in March 2000, was only two years long. McCray's first term, which began in 2002, was barely a month long, since he filled in the end of another director's term.

Read more...
11 Comments

Mayor Newsom Still Opposed to Extending Parking Meter Hours

3670817354_0733e09db6.jpgFlickr photo: KayVee.INC
Mayor Gavin Newsom has been quietly pressuring MTA Chief Nat Ford to delay or prevent proposals to extend parking meter hours on weeknights and Sundays, despite a looming mid-year MTA budget deficit and studies that show it's good policy, Streetsblog has learned.

A study on the parking management and revenue implications of expanded meter enforcement, which Ford promised within 90 days, was initiated as part of a "compromise" in late May to prevent the Board of Supervisors from rejecting the MTA's 2009-10 budget. It has now been more than 120 days and the study has not been made public, although Streetsblog has spoken to sources who have seen a summary of the draft.

"The Mayor thinks it's the wrong time to make these moves," said Nathan Ballard, Newsom's communications director. "Right now, with the economy where it is, the burden on ordinary people for city services is already stretched to the max, and so he hasn't seen anything that convinces him otherwise. He's open to arguments, but he's still where he was."

Ballard said the study "is nearing completion" and would eventually be made available to the public. Judson True, the MTA spokesperson, said the agency is working to finalize it. "[It] will be a thorough effort based on sound parking-management ideas and extensive stakeholder outreach. We hope that it will elevate some of the recent discussions on parking."

The delay, however, is troubling, considering the pledge made to the Board of Supervisors, particularly BOS Prez David Chiu, who rescinded his motion to reject the MTA budget after receiving assurances from the Mayor the study would be forthcoming.

Read more...